The Centre for Vision Research studies eye diseases and the problems with the eye associated with other conditions such as obesity and coronary artery disease.

Our research aims to understand why eye diseases occur – the prevalence, incidence and risk factors - as well as the genetic and environmental conditions that may threaten vision.

We have conducted one of the largest and longest epidemiology studies of eye diseases in the world, the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES), the findings of which are being used worldwide to research conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). One of the spin-off studies from the original Blue Mountains Eye Study is the Blue Mountains Hearing Study, which is using extensive dietary data collected from the recruits in the eye study to document a number of novel risk or protective lifestyle factors as well as the health impacts (such as quality of life, depression and functional independence) associated with age-related hearing loss. Additionally, the impacts of dual sensory impairment (presence of hearing and vision loss) on survival, quality of life, and functional independence have been assessed.

Diseases we research

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration
  • Macular oedema
  • Myopia
  • Vision problems associated with other conditions


Our research themes include:

We are investigating genetic associations with age-related cataract, contributing to international efforts toward genetic discovery of AMD, and we are investigating genetic associations of ocular biometry and refractive error in myopia.

In the past we have conducted studies in childhood and adolescent myopia, whether risk factors such as sedentary behaviour are associated with differences in the small vessels in the retina in children, and the associations between key macro- and micro-nutrients, and food groups (fruits, vegetables, breads/ cereals) with vascular risk factors (obesity, blood pressure) in children from preschool to high school.

We collaborate with the Ludwig Engel Centre for Respiratory Research to investigate the mechanism of increased stroke risk among persons suffering from snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea, including microvascular and macrovascular disease pathways. We are also collaborating with the Centre for Heart Research to explore the associations between various ocular conditions such as AMD, cataract, glaucoma and retinopathy with the severity and extent of coronary artery disease as well as atrial fibrillation and heart failure.